Sawmill Joe – Artist to Watch

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Ok, let’s get this out of the way. Sawmill Joe is so attractive he could be on soap operas. I don’t always like musicians to be hot, I feel like I go easier on them, and I hate that. First heard about him because of The Lumineers covering one of his songs, so I never went looking for his stuff. He came up recently when I was going down a Youtube rabbit hole, clicked play, dude in a fishing boat and wind blowing at the mic. I was about to shut it off when he started to sing. Floored. This guy sounds like he survived the Dust Bowl and was roommates with Arlo Guthrie. Watch that fishing boat video here: Sawmill Joe – The Way That I Am”

He’s playing this Saturday at Lost Lake in Denver, bring a date.

Check out the rest of his music free here: Sawmill Joe bandcamp

Watch him be the star of a Coen Brothers film soundtrack.

The Octopus Project “Fever Forms” – Band to Watch

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The Octopus Project are one of Austin’s most interesting bands. Part performance art, part experimental pop, part pure magic. On July 9th, they released their fifth album Fever Forms, and I can’t get enough of it. Their songs are not necessarily verse-chorus-verse, sometimes just instrumental, repeating a musical theme, and then layering and layering sounds and instruments until you get the most glorious peaks and dense, lush soundscapes. On top of that, it’s danceable progrock. The album opens with “The Falls”, an onslaught of electric guitar licks, aaaaahhh’s, and fantastic frenetic beats. There’s a very epic feel to “The Mythical E.L.C.”, all charging drums and bouncy basslines layered upon each other until they create a wall of blissful sound. And that’s before the vocals have even started! My favorite track on the album is the more traditional “The Man with the Golden Hand”, a great major key bonanza that is reminiscent of Passion Pit and Generationals, as bleeps and bops from synths come from every angle. Makes me think of dancing in the sun. “Sharpteeth” closes out the album with catchy, poppy synths rocking out until only one is left, trailing off into the night, leaving a great ending note on the album. As you can see, lots of adjectives describe The Octopus Project. While they have a great cult following in Austin, this album really represents their live show well, and will definitely garner them new fans.

Check out the first single: “Whitby”

And watch the video for their second single: “Sharpteeth”

And by all means, go see them live!

Tour Dates

08 06 13 NEW ORLEANS / ONE EYED JACKS
08 07 13 MOBILE / ALABAMA MUSIC BOX
08 09 13 ATLANTA / DRUNKEN UNICORN
08 10 13 KNOXVILLE / PILOT LIGHT
08 11 13 CHAPEL HILL / LOCAL 506
08 13 13 PHILADELPHIA / JOHNNY BRENDA’S
08 14 13 WASHINGTON / DC9
08 15 13 CAMBRIDGE / TT THE BEARS #
08 16 13 BURLINGTON / HIGHER GROUND
08 17 13 NEW YORK / MERCURY LOUNGE
08 19 13 COLUMBUS / KOBO
08 20 13 PONTIAC / THE PIKE ROOM
08 23 13 CHICAGO / SUBTERRANEAN
08 24 13 MINNEAPOLIS / 7TH ST. ENTRY
08 25 13 KANSAS CITY / THE RECORD BAR
09 05 13 BRYAN / GRAND STAFFORD THEATER
09 07 13 SAN ANTONIO / LIMELITE
09 11 13 NORMAN / OPOLIS
09 13 13 DENVER / LARIMER LOUNGE
09 14 13 SALT LAKE CITY / KILBY COURT
09 16 13 SEATTLE / CHOP SUEY
09 17 13 PORTLAND / MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS
09 19 13 SACRAMENTO / HARLOW’S NIGHT CLUB
09 20 13 SAN FRANCISCO / CAFE DU NORD
09 21 13 LOS ANGELES / THE ECHO
09 22 13 SAN DIEGO / SODA BAR
09 24 13 PHOENIX / RHYTHM ROOM

The Blank Tapes – Band to Watch

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If you are a fan of Foxygen or The Monkees then you will love this band. They have that throwback 60’s sound nailed, and it sounds like sunshine, perfect for summer. The Southern California mastermind behind it all, Matt Adams, is a garage 8-track junkie influenced by The Kinks, and oh does it show, and his songs are fantastic. California is really coming out with a lot of timeless California beach music lately, I’m loving it. They will be playing Hi Dive this Sunday, I see big things for them. I mean, look how cool they look:

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Listen to their music here: The Blank Tapes bandcamp

Link to the video for “Coast to Coast”. Someone else thinks they should tour with Foxygen: “Coast to Coast” video

BRONCHO – Band to Watch Playing the Fox on June 30

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BRONCHO out of Oklahoma are really making a name for themselves this year. I caught them at SXSW and thought they were one of the better garage bands I saw that week, and have since had numerous people ask me if I had heard of them. I’m a sucker for bands that say their name in a song, so “Pick a Fight” sucked me right in from thegetgo. It also is the lead song of their album Can’t Get Past the Lips, a perfect collection of Ramones-influenced garage rock. “I Don’t Really Want to be Social” is a perfect minimal rock song about alienation, and they’ve filmed a great video for “Try Me Out Sometime” . They will be at the Fox Theatre in Boulder on June 30th, playing with the fantastic Two Gallants , don’t miss these guys and get your tickets here!: ticket link

Jamaican Queens – Band to Watch

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When I received Jamaican Queens album “Wormfood”, I honestly thought it was going to be a trio of Lauryn Hill soundalikes, and there is nothing wrong with that, but I was totally wrong and pleasantly surprised. This group from Detroit has a sound that mixes Flaming Lips, Passion Pit and Cat Power. The layered vocals, rap beats and synths give every song an epic, lush feel. Ultra-catchy, the opening song “Water” even has a 50’s tinged vocal part. It’s almost like a mashup, but using their own music and flowing smoothly. “Sharkteeth” is a beautiful acoustic that sounds like it would fit in an Edward Sharpe set. Their brand of odd pop is hard to describe, with influences such as Three 6 Mafia and Brian Eno. Just give them a listen:

Video for “Kids Get Away”

Video for “Water”

They are playing in Denver at Rhinoceropolis on June 26th. It’s $5 and I guarantee their ticket will never be that cheap again. I can see them opening at Red Rocks next summer.

Lovelife – edgy Synth pop at Gothic on May 30th!

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Lovelife is bringing their heavily 80’s influenced synth pop to the Gothic this Thursday, May 30th, sure to be a great high energy dance party. This Brooklyn by UK duo fits right in with the nu-R&B/electro dance pop wave that’s getting gaining steam right now. I know, these genres are getting so particular, but it’s great for organization. They just traveled around the country playing with Capital Cities, who have this big hit right now (when I saw them play this at the Perez Hilton SXSW party this year, many guys inexplicably took their shirts off): Safe and Sound

Listen to the new Lovelife single here: Dying to Start Again

Watch Lovelife video here: Your New Beloved

Fork and Spoon Records Release Some Stuff You Should Hear

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When looking for new music, I often check out the other bands that are on the same label. I liked the sound of Coma Cinema, so I asked Fork and Spoon Records what else they had. They sent the new split single 7″ by bands Pandercakes and Pussy Wizard. Both bands have a seemingly happy sound but with a darker edge throughout the more you listen, and I’m really excited now to hear the rest of their roster.

Pandercakes starts the single with a layered song that contains male and female vocals (I think I heard some birds singing) all while a drum pattern keeps a steady danceable beat, even during the keys solo. Very interesting, intellectual pop, but with some punk rock attitude, I want to hear more of what they have. Pussy Wizard, aka Jordan Blackmon who plays guitar in Toro Y Moi finishes the single with “Dunno (Translucent Blue)”, a song that has a great lofi fuzz sound, world weary lyrics, and melodies that remind me of Elliott Smith. That name is going to deter some people, but it shouldn’t. The idea came from him flying on a cat.

Listen to it and buy it here: Pandercakes/Pussy Wizard

Eleven Songs I Like Today and the Best Tank Top Ever

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My neighbor is a prize-winning tulip gardener, and the second the snow melted, the ladies came out! You should see her backyard. I’m allowed to take as many flowers as I want, as well as walk around in them, in exchange for occasionally shoveling her sidewalk. Community! Needless to say, I feel very fortunate to have such a nice neighbor. The tank top is Brandy Melville, it’s Dylan mixed with The Misfits. It is my favorite tank ever, and I wish I could find another. Literally went to the store in San Diego twice before the sales chick found one in a pile of other black tank tops. The skirt was a disaster, windy day, better with a bathing suit.

Here’s some songs I’m loving today (all song titles are links to the song):

1. Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue” : first time played live, Jagger swaggering and pointing with splendour, every note perfect. To Vegas or not to Vegas….

2. Deodato “Also Sprach Zarathustra(2001)” : my husband heard a version of 2001 that he thought was Phish with horns, did some searching, found it. This is the best rendition of a song ever. Timeless. It’s been played about a hundred times blaring through our speakers through the house. My life has felt very funky but dramatic.

3. The Bamboos “Happy” : continue the funk with this New Zealand band that really needs to tour the USA.

4. TEEN “Circus (Live at Union Pool)” : great, loud, pretty stuff, their name is around a lot right now, I like the flashlight video.

5. Metz “Wet Blanket” : if you have some patience and let the music inside you, it’s the most amazing feeling in the world. They are playing in Denver at Hi Dive on Tuesday. It’s going to be so forceful.

6. Lorde “Royals” : New Zealand is really cranking out unbelievable music! This song is slithery, minimal beat, nice vocals, I have a song of the day!

7. Faces on Film “Knot in the Vine” : this band has a slick, dreamy sound. Sounds like a movie where everyone is sweaty in a small town and most of them have slept with each other and drama sweaty drama.

8. No Joy “Negaverse” : opening for Metz this Tuesday, beautiful noise.

9. Chain in the Gang “Living in the Panther Cage” : love some quirky minimal stuff with male and female vocals and loud snare.

10. Goat “Goatman” : heard this year’s Austin Psych Fest was the best year yet, I’m in for sure next year at this new location. Kicking myself that I skipped it and missed these guys. So much to do, so little time…..

Update- song 11 came in last night and it’s just a perfect simple piece of beauty : “Big Talking” by White Woods

DADS sign to 6131 Records and tour dates announced!

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New Jersey two-piece DADS just signed with 6131 Records, causing them to release a new EP and tour this summer! These guys have a wonderful sound, reminding me a little of Pinback vocally with great upbeat guitar licks and crashing percussion. They remind me of working in skate shops as a teen, something very free and earnest about them. Listen to their debut album here, American Radass

And check them out live! They’ll be in Denver July 8th at Circle Music Collective.

06/13 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
06/14 Greenville, NC @ Tipsy Teapot
06/15 Murrells Inlet, SC @ Suck Bang Blow (early)
06/15 Charleston, SC @ The Oasis (late)
06/16 Atlanta, GA @ Wonder Root
06/17 Savannah, GA @ Taco Abajo
06/18 Jacksonville, FL @ Burro Bar
06/19 Orlando, FL @ Wills’ Pub
06/20 Pembroke Pines, FL @ The Talent Farm
06/21 Tampa, FL @ Epic Problem
06/22 New Orleans, LA @ Big Top June
06/23 San Antonio, TX @ The Ten Eleven
06/24 Austin, TX @ Mohawk
06/25 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
06/27 Albuquerque, NM @ The Gasworks
06/28 Meza, AZ @ Nile Underground
06/29 San Diego, CA @ Che Cafe w/ Adventures
06/30 Highland Park, CA @ Growing Up Is Dumb Fest w/ Defiance Ohio
07/01 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Ratchet House
07/02 Oakland, CA @ 1234 Go Records
07/03 Eureka, CA @ Placebo
07/04 Portland, OR @ Garfield House
07/05 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon Lounge
07/06 Boise, ID @ The Shredder
07/07 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Shred Sled
07/08 Denver, CO @ Circle Music Collective
07/09 Kansas City, MO @ Art Closet Studio
07/10 ST. Louis, MO @ Fubar
07/11 Peoria, IL @ Broken Tree Coffee
07/12 Chicago, IL @ Swerp Mansion
07/13 Grand Rapids, MI @ The Turtle Den
07/14 Ann Arbor, MI @ 907 Lincoln
07/15 Indianapolis, IN @ Hooiser Dome
07/16 Pittsburgh, PA @ The Mr. Roboto Project w/ Adventures
07/17 Williamsport, PA @ West 4th
07/18 Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire w/ Daylight
07/19 Alexandria, VA @ The Lab w/ Daylight
07/20 Brooklyn, NY @ Suburbia w/ Daylight
07/21 New Haven, CT @ Bethesda Lutheran Church

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Princess Music – Band to Watch

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When I shot the Akron/Family a few weeks ago, I was totally impressed with their opener, Princess Music. All classically trained musicians working in a more pop style just DOES it for me, and at the show people were buzzing about this “kinda Talking Heads sounding” band. You know things are gonna be good when a cello comes out. Tyler Ludwick, the guitarist and singer has been compared to Sufjan Stevens many times in the media, I can hear it but feel Ludwick has a more upbeat quirkiness. This band is special, sweet and whimsical but sincere and down to Earth. Denver, this is a local band to watch, for sure. Check out their song “White Wave”, which starts with the best instrument of all, the music box, then builds with the bass and strings and oh, just so lovely. Then that sweet voice. I’m in love with Princess Music.

White Wave by Princess Music

Band Website with Videos

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